I stand with them as their great warrior leader bids farewell. He is 110 years old and still his words and spirit inspire those who have just come through years of fighting. He knows them well, their strengths and weaknesses, and is encouraging this prone-to-sinning people to remain faithful.
Joshua has been their leader from the time of the crossing of the Jordan River to this day. It is time for him to leave them. They will have to finish the work he began. The past seven years have brought great victory to this chosen group of people. They have seen God work miracle after miracle on their behalf. There is, however, still work to be done - more enemies to conquer - and Joshua will not be there to lead them.
He reminds them that it is the Lord who has done these great things and urges them to renew their commitment to worship the one true God and obey all that He has told them. Reminding them of God's faithfulness and the certain fate that will be theirs if they abandon Him, He calls them to choose whom they will serve.
With one voice the people declare, "We will serve the Lord!"
In an unbelievably short time their resolve fails, and we find this wayward group
falling away from all they pledged to do. They failed to completely destroy the surrounding inhabitants, settling instead for half-measures. Before long they were drawn in, intermarrying and worshiping foreign gods. Promises were forgotten; the Lord was forsaken; the results were all too predictable…
Please join me and the Children of Israel over at Laced With Grace for the rest of the story.